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HomeNewsClassic CarsFound! Forgotten Thunderdome Falcon set to make return

Found! Forgotten Thunderdome Falcon set to make return

YET another former AUSCAR race car that once ripped around the Calder Park Thunderdome is being restored with plans for a return to the track later this season.

There’s a rising tide of former Thunderdome stock cars – both NASCAR and AUSCAR machinery – being wheeled back out and restored to running condition.

The ex-Mike Oliver Falcon that debuted at the Gold Coast Indy event way back in 1992 and raced through to the late 1990s is the latest of them and is being restored by now owner Cole Davis.

Originally built by Calder Racing and Performance, it was later raced by Jamey Hollier and the late Jason Morrell, who won Rookie of the Year honours and finished 10th in the 1997/98 AUSCAR championship.

The Mike Oliver Falcon upon its debut on the Gold Coast in 1992. Photo: Jamey Hollier

The Falcon, and a range of other AUSCARs, became ride cars at Wakefield Park in the wake of the demise of the superspeedway category.

Davis bought it in 2020 and set to work, initially replacing its EL nose and front bumper with an EA front clip.

“I’m a civil and building engineer by trade and have pretty much been building the car back up myself,” Davis told V8 Sleuth.

“I’ve always been mechanically minded but this has been a really good experience – I now understand how many hours go into a race car!

“Leigh Watkins has been a great help with a lot of information and got the ball rolling for me with who built the car.

“It’s one of the first EA Falcon AUSCARs, bought as a shell from Ford especially to be made into an AUSCAR. There are no compliance numbers on it at all.

“I’m going to put it back to EA livery as Mike Oliver raced it, I’ve already done the nose cone for it. The rear of the car never changed despite the model upgrades, so it’s still got the EB rear end on it.

“It was always a 351 Cleveland car, I found the original exhaust from a guy down in Melbourne. It’s got a Cleveland in it now to get it going and then I’m going to scare myself; I’m building a full aluminium headed 408 Cleveland!”

Davis plans to give the car its first run at the newly re-opened One Raceway (formerly Wakefield Park) in November.

The Falcon as it sat among ex AUSCARs at Winton after its time as a ride car at Wakefield Park was done. Photo: Supplied.
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